November 2013 archive

Santa Countdown For The Playroom

I really like to display our seasonal arts and crafts on the playroom wall, and I have always loved to display and talk about a Santa Countdown.



santa countdown preview



It only made sense to me to countdown on Santa’s beard…So, I made it happen.

I decided to post it tonight so that you could get a head start if you wanted to. 

I will be posting a printable EVERY day until Christmas so you will have lots you can do with your kiddos.

If you just want this printable it is only $1 HERE, but my membership is only a one time payment of $5 and I have TONS of resources so you may want to join instead. 😉

I am going to talk to Sean Patrick tomorrow morning about this and here is how the conversation will start:

“Look at this cute Santa picture.  What do you think about him?  What do you notice?  (Wait for him to notice numbers) We are going to use the numbers to tell us how many days there are until Santa comes.  We will cover up one number each day until we fill his beard.   When his beard is full that will mean that it is time to bake cookies for Santa! It will be a calendar countdown! So lets cover up the first number – this is twenty-four (a two and a four).”

I plan to let Sean Patrick fill one circle each day with dot paint first and then glue a cotton ball on each number as we countdown.

And here is what it might look like when it is time to bake cookies for Santa:



Santa Printable



 

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

It took my family a while to get into the hype of Elf on the Shelf.  I thought, “Oh, no.  Yet another Christmas gimmick.”  But you know what?  After receiving our elf, Captain, in the mail from my aunt erm… Santa, he immediately became a fixture in our house during Christmas time.  The kids LOVE Captain!

I thought for sure my super-literal and practical-brained child would just laugh the whole thing off, but he seriously bought into it last year.  Not just that, we (unintentionally) used our Elf on the Shelf as a learning tool for correcting Captain’s naughty behavior.  Each morning we would wake up, see Captain’s mischief, and talk to him about his behavior… we also asked him to apologize.

Our elf sure did get in a lot of trouble… and we had so much fun plotting his next move!  But, I gotta say, it did get a little tricky trying to come up with so many things for him to do!  And we didn’t even start on December 1st!  So this year, we are going to make a list, and check it twice, of what Captain will be doing each day.  To help you out, I am going to share Captain’s antics from last year with you… enjoy!  Oh, and each morning, the kids discovered a handwritten note from our elf (Mommy got really good at writing left-handed) 😉

20 Days til Christmas – The Rescue Bots were not pleased with our new house guest.  They captured him inside a mason jar while Captain was writing a note to our kids.

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19 Days til Christmas – After this, the boys made Captain and the toys call a truce. They have been friends ever since.

dec 4 captains revenge



 

18 Days til Christmas – Mischievous Captain climbed down a rope that hung from the curtains to reach the pictures.

dec 5 captains masterpieces



17 Days til Christmas – Captain rode the sailboat back to the North Pole that night.

dec 13



 

16 Days til Christmas – The boys forgot to clean up their popcorn mess, so Captain took full advantage!

dec 14



15 Days til Christmas – Our stuffed friends had a snowball fight with Captain!  Marshmallows everywhere!

dec 15



14 Days til Christmas – Captain the Elf spent the night playing on Mommy’s computer.  Santa also sent the kids a personal video message too!  

dec 19



13 Days til Christmas – “Oh Captain!  No, we are NOT allowed to play with toilet paper.”

dec 17



12 Days til Christmas – before our gymnastics class…

dec-16



11 Days til Christmas – “Captain didn’t put the cap back on the toothpaste…”

dec-21



10 Days til Christmas – how ’bout a little education thrown in there?

dec 22



9 Days til Christmas – This wasn’t the best idea because I couldn’t put the baby in her swing all day long (did I mention that if anyone touches the elf, he loses his magic???).  

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8 Days til Christmas – because the kids kept pressing the button on the guitar ornament.  They didn’t touch it again after this.

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7 Days til Christmas – following a trip to the zoo!

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6 Days til Christmas – and day 437 of potty training.

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5 Days til Christmas – The day of James’ Christmas play at school… riding the stocking holders.

rudolph



4 Days til Christmas – with all of our Christmas cards that we received.

dec 18



 

3 Days til Christmas – testing out the snicker doodles before we leave them out for Santa.

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2 Days til Christmas – decorated the stars on top of the kids’ Christmas trees.  We tied this one into reading Matthew 2:9-11 out of the Bible.

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1 Day til Christmas – SANTAAAAAA!  Captain the Elf headed back to the North Pole til next December.

Please share your Elf on the Shelf ideas with us on Facebook @themommyteacher!

Do You Have A Favorite Thanksgiving Movie?

This week, I re-discovered and had nearly forgotten about “Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers.”

The Mayflower Voyagers (This Is America, Charlie Brown) [VHS]

Sean Patrick is only 3 1/2 but we watched “The Mayflower Voyagers” and discussed the entire movie while it was on.  This movie is perfect and appropriate for young kids, but it is meaningful for all ages.

By pointing out all of the details, he stayed engaged and interested.

I said things like “OOhhh look! A map!  Do you see the land and the water?” (I paused the movie for a second to point these out).

And then, “Oooh a ship!  That ship has a special name called the Mayflower.  It is going to take the Pilgrims to America.  Would you want to ride on that ship?”

You get the point.

I talk to him a lot during the movie and he really enjoys the commentary, though I know most of you would go NUTS if someone talked the whole way through a movie haha; I understand.

But, for little ones… the dialogue helps them to process what is going on and helps them to put all the pieces together.

Discussing the details also helps children store the information for better memory recall, and helps children to get a better grasp on story elements like setting, plot, characters, major events, and all the underlying details that build comprehension.

This specific movie is currently on Netflix, which is great because (unless you check this out at your local library or find it at a grocery store) it is not too affordable online.

Pilgrim Hat Activities

I notice that “coloring pages” are still all the rage, and I actually think so much great conversation and bonding can take place coloring with your kids so I am probably in that mix. My kids and I love to color together.

But, I also like to make templates that I can use for multiple uses.

So, I made a simple but useful and free Pilgrim Hat Activity that I am posting for ALL my TMT followers.



pilgrim screen shot



You can use this to talk about who attended the First Thanksgiving.

You can use this to talk about food that we typically eat at Thanksgiving.

Or you can use this to talk about thankfulness of course!



SP painting Pilgrim's hat



We decided to break out the puff paint and glitter for this one.  We ended up finger-painting the globs of puff paint.  We had fun, and we talked about the Pilgrims. I reminded him of his school’s Thanksgiving Feast and the Pilgrims costume to make an association.  At one point I had to hide the “sugar,” my one year old’s name for glitter, but other than that it was a winner!

 

Simple, but timely right?


SP pilgrim hat


Sean Patrick’s “finished” product…. Oh 3 year olds! 😉

 

Thanksgiving Headdress Activity



Headdress SS.001



Today, I am sharing a template with you so that your little one can make a personalized headdress.

I always loved doing holiday crafts as a kid, so I am trying to keep that tradition going!

I got this craft idea when I went to my son’s Thanksgiving Feast.

The kids wore headdresses and one class had Native American nicknames written on their headbands, but I thought it would be cute to try it on the feathers.

I thought, I could do that.  And as you may know, I like reproducible activities.

So, I made this template for you.

The feathers have upper case letters, lower case letters, and numbers so there are lots of directions you can take this craft.

[Click HERE to become a member and get unlimited access to  ALL The Mommy Teacher Printables including this one!

OR CLICK HERE to purchase this Thanksgiving printable individually from my TeachersPayTeachers Store.]

When I did this at home:



sean patrick coloring feathers



My goal today was simply to get Sean Patrick to put the letters of his name in order after I scrambled them up, and give him a fun accessory to wear to go with all of his little Indian songs he has learned.

So, I scrambled them up and asked him to find the letters in his name.  He found S, then ‘e,’ then ‘a,’ then ‘n,’ etc., colored them, and then I taped them onto his headband that I cut from a brown paper bag..

 

You Could:

1) Use this as a number order activity or assessment by teaching your little one to put the feathers in order from 0-9 and then mix the feathers up and see if your little one can put them in order himself.

2)  Let your kiddos come up with names for their stuffed animals, put small feather headbands on stuffed animals heads (use a print setting that prints multiple pages at onto one sheet of paper to print small feathers).

3) Place paper feathers on the inside of construction paper to give it a pop of color if you don’t print them onto colored paper or if you children don’t color them in much.

4) Or, come up with something original and share it on The Mommy Teacher Facebook Page or as a Mommy Teacher Spotlight because we are always looking for more ideas to do and to share!

A creative mommy-teacher friend of mine put her own twist on this activity, and I love it!  Had to share:



indian princess





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